Medical workers are suffering under excessive workloads, leading
to high levels of stress, a survey by the Guangdong provincial
situation study and research center has said.
More than 80 percent of medical workers in the province
regularly work for seven days at a time without a break, which
creates serious mental pressure, the survey found.
"I usually work the night shift for a whole week. Sometimes I
feel very tired and don't have any time to spend with my family,"
Ye Bi, a 29-year-old nurse working for the No. 1 Affiliated
Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said.
"The heavy workload sometimes drives down my spirits," she told
China Daily yesterday.
Nearly 70 percent of medical workers do not get a full day off
during the working week, according to the survey, which covered
tens of thousands of medical staff in the province.
"I even worry about my physical health since the work comes with
fairly serious physical risks," Ye said.
In addition to their heavy workloads, many medical workers said
disputes between hospitals and patients have also contributed to
the pressure they feel, the survey found.
"The widespread media coverage of such disputes has put much
pressure on doctors.
"Most of them have to think twice before they treat a patient,"
Shi Yumei, a researcher with the Guangdong provincial academy of
social sciences, said.
She called for more investment in medical equipment and an
increase in the number of medical staff, particularly in rural
"This would help reduce the workload for medical staff," Shi
"Most small hospitals in rural areas have less than 10 doctors
and their facilities need to be improved," she said.
She also said hospitals should organize more recreational
activities after work for staff members to help them relax.
(China Daily November 23, 2007)